Also, I should also distinguish this is entirely distinct from communicating with someone in advance that you need to postpone or reschedule a date. Obviously, if you let someone know in advance, that you can't make it, then "no harm, no foul," because the other guy can make other plans. But we've all had the situation -- more than once -- where a gay guy cancels on us with no notice after you've put time and energy into planning the date. That's what this blog is addressing.
The far more dangerous type of flakiness – and the one that’s deadly to gay relationships – is the flakiness that is a smoke-screen for the gay man’s internal narcissism and overall weakness. And it creates a lot of problems, because it is far more difficult to sniff out in initial conversations. The flakey man will tell you one thing, but can't deliver on it. And if you’re just getting to know the person, then you can only go on what they’re telling you at the beginning. So you have no idea if you’ve met Mr. Right or Mr. Flakey until it’s too late…
A flakey gay man is a man who gets easily stopped by the little things in life. When life gives him a minor speed bump, he gives up and turns around or drives in a different direction. He’ll probably console himself with excuses. “I’ll try harder next time.” “Maybe when the speed bump isn’t there.” “I’ll find another path.” But again, the result is the same. The flakey gay man will never cross the speed bump, because he can't be bothered. But he doesn't know he can't be bothered. His excuses for not traversing the speed bump fool him into thinking that life has just given him a big problem, and he doesn't have the energy or wherewithal to deal with it. To him, his little excuses matter more to him than whatever time or energy you've put into organizing the date. In short, he's not willing to cross the speed bump for you.
Sarcastic I know, but I think you get my drift. Gays often tell ourselves, "Once everything is perfect, then I will start working on a relationship." But if a particular moment requires some hard work or inconvenience to achieve, Sleeping Beauty ain’t getting out of that bed! (And that’s why most hot guys stay single for forever by the way… But that's another entry.) But all too often, too many gay men run at the first sign of trouble. And the situation is acutely worse for flakey people.
This flakiness, resulting from the broader lack of self-awareness and lack of empathy for others, is THE most insidious part of Grindr* in my opinion. And as this blog is about online dating, it comes up repeatedly when you try to date people who say they're up for something deeper, but in reality, they just can't be bothered. The problem is any time you try to call people out on being flakey, they refuse to take responsibility for hurting your feelings, and they really don't want to expend any energy making amends. At best, they want to be absolved completely. At worst, they will get angry at you for merely pointing out that their flaky behavior ruined your evening.
The flakey gay man wants to be told “It’s okay.”
**But flakiness is stopping gay men from having great relationships NOW! Everything is there – just one person can’t get their ass in gear. Or they are pretending and saying all the right things and not living up to their promises. And in that instance, you can’t build anything. So in terms of finding and building loving relationships, flakiness is far more dangerous than promiscuity, in my humble opinion.]
Flakey gay men want to be able to flake out on you with no consequences or push back at all. If you dare to hold up a mirror to the flakey gay man, he scurries away like a roach from a florescent light. This is where the flakey gay man’s utter narcissism kicks in. Because remember, the flakey gay man just wants to take the easiest road available, since he only cares about himself. And if you get hurt, he wants you to keep it to yourself, because to say otherwise might expose him as just another douche bag who can't be bothered (and he doesn't want to deal with that). So the flakey gay man will despise you if you don’t tell him that you’re okay with his infuriating behavior. Often, he'll attack you for being the jerk for not "forgiving" him for ruining your evening.
So if you need to reschedule, then reschedule. But let the other guy know so he can get on with his life. Don’t hide out like a scared little boy. And for the love of God:
Andrew Londyn is a lawyer, PR Consultant, and author of Grindr Surivr: How to Find Happiness in the Age of Hookup Apps. He can be reached at @grindrsurvivr